PLANS for up to 30 dwellings at Welland have been approved by councillors despite their misgivings about its impact on the the village.

Developer M Little had applied to Malvern Hills District Council for permission to build up to 30 homes on a field at Drake Street.

The site is very close to Lawn Farm, where an application for 50 houses was recently approved at appeal, after the council had turned it down. Another plan, at Marlbank, is still going through the planning process.

At a meeting of the southern area development management committee, cllr Mike Soley said: "This is a beautiful village and we seem to want to cement all over it."

Don Atkinson of Welland and Little Malvern Parish Council, told the meeting: "The parish council recommends refusal. This morning when I walked along Drake Street, I passed eight houses. Within a couple of years I will be counting 88. Overdevelopment? I think so."

Among the objections to the plan were that the site is outside the current settlement boundary, the impact of extra traffic on Drake Street and other local roads, and the likelihood of increased flooding from a brook that runs through the site.

But planning officers were recommending it for approval as a sustainable development, and councillors accepted that if they refused it, it would probably be approved on appeal, as was the Lawn Farm development.

James Black, a Drake Street resident who had also spoken at the meeting opposing the plan, said afterwards: "The planning policies are what they are. This plan, together with the one at Lawn Farm, represent a significant enlargement for the village.

"Welland does not have the infrastructure to support being turned from a village into a small town. But following the logic of this decision, anyone with land here will be able to get planning permission and we'll end up with 5.000 new houses, which is obviously ridiculous."